I also dedicate today’s song to Catriona Hickey from Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary in Ireland who also celebrates her birthday today. Have a nice day, Catriona, and thank you for being my Facebook friend.
My song today is ‘It’s Not Unusual’. This song was written by Les Reed and Gordon Mills and was first recorded by a then-unknown Tom Jones from the Welsh Valleys. The song was initially offered to Sandy Shaw, but she turned it down. Tom Jones recorded what was intended to be a demo for Shaw, but when she heard it she was so impressed with Jones's delivery that she declined the song and recommended that Jones release it himself.
The song was an instant hit and reached Number 1 in the ‘UK Singles Chart’ in 1965. It was also the first hit for Tom Jones in the United States, peaking at Number 10in May 1965. The single also reached Number 3 on the ‘Billboard Easy Listening Chart’. The BBC initially refused to play the song because of Jones’s sexy image, but it was played by UK ; Pirate Radio’. Jones performed the song several times on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in the US, first on 2 May 1965, then again on 13 June 1965. He sang the song again on the show when he returned on 21 April 1968. Jones later used this song as the theme for his late 1960s–early 1970s television musical variety series ‘ThIs is Tom Jones’ It has since become his signature song.
I was in Canada when this song was first released. The song reminds me of a conversation between me and my mother when I was in my romantic late teens. On the night in question, I was dolled up in my best clothes ready to go out dancing at ‘Cleckheaton Town Hall’. I had met a girl at the dance the previous week and had walked her home to Heckmondwike at the end of the night. I arranged to see her at the Town Hall dance the following Saturday night.
As I was going out the door my mum said, “I hope you find a nice girl at the dance tonight, Billy and not one of those ‘run-arounds’ from either Cleckheaton or Heckmondwike!” I don’t know why, but my mum did not think kindly about these two local areas or girls who’d been brought up there. I am guessing that she must have gotten short-changed, been bad-mouthed or received poor service by a young shop assistant following a shopping trip to either Cleckheaton or Heckmondwike once upon a time.
I answered mum by saying, “I’ve already got my date for tonight at last week’s Town Hall dance, Mum! “I gave mum a look that told her I was well able to look after myself and she smilingly said, “I don’t know how you do it, lad? I don’t know how you’ve always got a young woman in the wings, and why they never turn you down?” Looking at mum a final time as I went out the door I simply said, “It’s not unusual, Mum. They’d be a fool to say no!”.
Love and peace Bill xxx